Cottonwood boys track wins Region 7 title in relay, sets school recordJun 06, 2023 11:10AM ● By Anna Pro
It has been a long year for the Cottonwood Colts boys track team. Injuries. Cancellations. Illness. But, they always had this “swag” that helped the 4x800 team win a Region 7 title, explained head coach Jason Baker.
“The day before Region the team hyped each other up during their run as they talked about setting the tone for all of region during that first race (4x800) to build up the entire track team,” Baker said.
“The day of Region, the boys both felt and acted confidently with each other (which they refer to as the swag).”
Baker added that he could see how with the first 800, or two laps around the track, the lead runner Skyler Limburg continued to widen the gap and was pulling away from the other teams.
“During the second leg, Tim Thompson threw a ‘hang-loose’ hand gesture to his coach at the first turn [of his 800] to signify he was feeling great, leading to a strong first widening of the gap for the team,” said the Cottonwood head coach.
Thompson gave the third Colts runner, Nathan Orbezua-Black, plenty of leeway, according to Baker. By the time Orbezua-Black finished his 800, the Colts weren’t just winning the race—they were dominating it, Baker said.
After anchor leg Seth Dunn touched the tape, he not only blazed around the track two times to help lift the Colts to their first-ever Region 7 title—this team set a school record in the process.
It’s a feat that was never accomplished easily, added Baker, and would never have been accomplished without all of the hard work from both the boys and girls track teams.
“As a team, we have committed ourselves that no matter the conditions of the workout (weather, terrain, or how we feel); we run the times we set out for ourselves in practice; whatever we fail to reach, we fix it for the next interval,” Baker said.
It was a team victory regardless, added Baker, and it was their resiliency as a group that aligned with the team’s two core rules: Never Give Up and Never Leave a Colt Behind.
The hard work for most of this group began back in August, when they were running top times in cross-country, ranking highly in both Region 7 and in Utah. But the entire varsity boys squad got sick, said the coach, performing poorly at the Region 7 meet in the fall and did not qualify for state.
Again, poor health and minor injuries riddled the lineup for Cottonwood’s boys track team in the spring, said Baker. Finishes for the 4x800 team ranged from a 9:04 one week to an 8:32 the next. Even as the big region meet was approaching, several Colts again fell ill the week before, running it in a time of 8:55.41.
It makes the Colts’ school record time of 8:11.07 all the more impressive, if you ask Baker.
“Few were aware that during this race, three of the team members were once again sick…but still put themselves into the position of success that they had fought so hard for regardless of their situation,” Baker said.
For this team, the season is far from over. The Colts next competed at the 5A state track and field championships at BYU after press time. λ